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Silvana Di Sabatino
,
Laura S. Leo
,
Rosella Cataldo
,
Carlo Ratti
, and
Rex E. Britter

Abstract

A morphometric analysis of a southern European city and the derivation of relevant fluid dynamical parameters for use in urban flow and dispersion models are explained in this paper. Calculated parameters are compared with building statistics that have already been computed for parts of three northern European and two North American cities. The aim of this comparison is to identify similarities and differences between several building configurations and city types, such as building packing density, compact versus sprawling neighborhoods, regular versus irregular street orientation, etc. A novel aspect of this work is the derivation and use of digital elevation models (DEMs) for parts of a southern European city. Another novel aspect is the DEMs’ construction methodology, which is low cost, low tech, and of simple implementation. Several building morphological parameters are calculated from the urban DEMs using image processing techniques. The correctness and robustness of these techniques have been verified through a series of sensitivity tests performed on both idealized building configurations, as well as on real case DEMs, which were derived using the methodology here. In addition, the planar and frontal area indices were calculated as a function of elevation. It is argued that those indices, estimated for neighborhoods of real cities, may be used instead of the detailed building geometry within urban canopy models as those indices together synthesize the geometric features of a city. The direct application of these results will facilitate the development of fast urban flow and dispersion models.

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Luigi Brogno
,
Francesco Barbano
,
Laura Sandra Leo
,
Harindra J. S. Fernando
, and
Silvana Di Sabatino

Abstract

In the realm of boundary layer flows in complex terrain, low-level jets (LLJs) have received considerable attention, although little literature is available for double-nosed LLJs that remain not well understood. To this end, we use the Mountain Terrain Atmospheric Modeling and Observations (MATERHORN) dataset to demonstrate that double-nosed LLJs developing within the planetary boundary layer (PBL) are common during stable nocturnal conditions and present two possible mechanisms responsible for their formation. It is observed that the onset of a double-nosed LLJ is associated with a temporary shape modification of an already-established LLJ. The characteristics of these double-nosed LLJs are described using a refined version of identification criteria proposed in the literature, and their formation is classified in terms of two driving mechanisms. The wind-driven mechanism encompasses cases where the two noses are associated with different air masses flowing one on top of the other. The wave-driven mechanism involves the vertical momentum transport by an inertial–gravity wave to generate the second nose. The wave-driven mechanism is corroborated by the analysis of nocturnal double-nosed LLJs, where inertial–gravity waves are generated close to the ground by a sudden flow perturbation.

Open access
Patrick Conry
,
Ashish Sharma
,
Mark J. Potosnak
,
Laura S. Leo
,
Edward Bensman
,
Jessica J. Hellmann
, and
Harindra J. S. Fernando

Abstract

The interaction of global climate change and urban heat islands (UHI) is expected to have far-reaching impacts on the sustainability of the world’s rapidly growing urban population centers. Given that a wide range of spatiotemporal scales contributed by meteorological forcing and complex surface heterogeneity complicates UHI, a multimodel nested approach is used in this paper to study climate-change impacts on the Chicago, Illinois, UHI, covering a range of relevant scales. One-way dynamical downscaling is used with a model chain consisting of global climate (Community Atmosphere Model), regional climate (Weather Research and Forecasting Model), and microscale (“ENVI-met”) models. Nested mesoscale and microscale models are evaluated against the present-day observations (including a dedicated urban miniature field study), and the results favorably demonstrate the fidelity of the downscaling techniques that were used. A simple building-energy model is developed and used in conjunction with microscale-model output to calculate future energy demands for a building, and a substantial increase (as much as 26% during daytime) is noted for future (~2080) climate. Although winds and lake-breeze circulation for future climate are favorable for reducing energy usage by 7%, the benefits are outweighed by such factors as exacerbated UHI and air temperature. An adverse change in human-comfort indicators is also noted in the future climate, with 92% of the population experiencing thermal discomfort. The model chain that was used has general applicability for evaluating climate-change impacts on city centers and, hence, for urban-sustainability studies.

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Katherine McCaffrey
,
James M. Wilczak
,
Laura Bianco
,
Eric Grimit
,
Justin Sharp
,
Robert Banta
,
Katja Friedrich
,
H. J. S. Fernando
,
Raghavendra Krishnamurthy
,
Laura S. Leo
, and
Paytsar Muradyan

Abstract

Cold pool events occur when deep layers of stable, cold air remain trapped in a valley or basin for multiple days, without mixing out from daytime heating. With large impacts on air quality, freezing events, and especially on wind energy production, they are often poorly forecast by modern mesoscale numerical weather prediction (NWP) models. Understanding the characteristics of cold pools is, therefore, important to provide more accurate forecasts. This study analyzes cold pool characteristics with data collected during the Second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP2), which took place in the Columbia River basin and Gorge of Oregon and Washington from fall 2015 until spring 2017. A subset of the instrumentation included three microwave radiometer profilers, six radar wind profilers with radio acoustic sounding systems, and seven sodars, which together provided seven sites with collocated vertical profiles of temperature, humidity, wind speed, and wind direction. Using these collocated observations, we developed a set of criteria to determine if a cold pool was present based on stability, wind speed, direction, and temporal continuity, and then developed an automated algorithm based on these criteria to identify all cold pool events over the 18 months of the field project. Characteristics of these events are described, including statistics of the wind speed distributions and profiles, stability conditions, cold pool depths, and descent rates of the cold pool top. The goal of this study is a better understanding of these characteristics and their processes to ultimately lead to improved physical parameterizations in NWP models, and consequently improve forecasts of cold pool events in the study region as well at other locations that experiences similar events.

Free access
Manuela Lehner
,
C. David Whiteman
,
Sebastian W. Hoch
,
Derek Jensen
,
Eric R. Pardyjak
,
Laura S. Leo
,
Silvana Di Sabatino
, and
Harindra J. S. Fernando

Abstract

Observations were taken on an east-facing sidewall at the foot of a desert mountain that borders a large valley, as part of the Mountain Terrain Atmospheric Modeling and Observations (MATERHORN) field program at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. A case study of nocturnal boundary layer development is presented for a night in mid-May when tethered-balloon measurements were taken to supplement other MATERHORN field measurements. The boundary layer development over the slope could be divided into three distinct phases during this night: 1) The evening transition from daytime upslope/up-valley winds to nighttime downslope winds was governed by the propagation of the shadow front. Because of the combination of complex topography at the site and the solar angle at this time of year, the shadow moved down the sidewall from approximately northwest to southeast, with the flow transition closely following the shadow front. 2) The flow transition was followed by a 3–4-h period of almost steady-state boundary layer conditions, with a shallow slope-parallel surface inversion and a pronounced downslope flow with a jet maximum located within the surface-based inversion. The shallow slope boundary layer was very sensitive to ambient flows, resulting in several small disturbances. 3) After approximately 2300 mountain standard time, the inversion that had formed over the adjacent valley repeatedly sloshed up the mountain sidewall, disturbing local downslope flows and causing rapid temperature drops.

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James M. Wilczak
,
Mark Stoelinga
,
Larry K. Berg
,
Justin Sharp
,
Caroline Draxl
,
Katherine McCaffrey
,
Robert M. Banta
,
Laura Bianco
,
Irina Djalalova
,
Julie K. Lundquist
,
Paytsar Muradyan
,
Aditya Choukulkar
,
Laura Leo
,
Timothy Bonin
,
Yelena Pichugina
,
Richard Eckman
,
Charles N. Long
,
Kathleen Lantz
,
Rochelle P. Worsnop
,
Jim Bickford
,
Nicola Bodini
,
Duli Chand
,
Andrew Clifton
,
Joel Cline
,
David R. Cook
,
Harindra J. S. Fernando
,
Katja Friedrich
,
Raghavendra Krishnamurthy
,
Melinda Marquis
,
Jim McCaa
,
Joseph B. Olson
,
Sebastian Otarola-Bustos
,
George Scott
,
William J. Shaw
,
Sonia Wharton
, and
Allen B. White

Abstract

The Second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP2) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)- and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-funded program, with private-sector and university partners, which aims to improve the accuracy of numerical weather prediction (NWP) model forecasts of wind speed in complex terrain for wind energy applications. A core component of WFIP2 was an 18-month field campaign that took place in the U.S. Pacific Northwest between October 2015 and March 2017. A large suite of instrumentation was deployed in a series of telescoping arrays, ranging from 500 km across to a densely instrumented 2 km × 2 km area similar in size to a high-resolution NWP model grid cell. Observations from these instruments are being used to improve our understanding of the meteorological phenomena that affect wind energy production in complex terrain and to evaluate and improve model physical parameterization schemes. We present several brief case studies using these observations to describe phenomena that are routinely difficult to forecast, including wintertime cold pools, diurnally driven gap flows, and mountain waves/wakes. Observing system and data product improvements developed during WFIP2 are also described.

Full access
Qing Wang
,
Denny P. Alappattu
,
Stephanie Billingsley
,
Byron Blomquist
,
Robert J. Burkholder
,
Adam J. Christman
,
Edward D. Creegan
,
Tony de Paolo
,
Daniel P. Eleuterio
,
Harindra Joseph S. Fernando
,
Kyle B. Franklin
,
Andrey A. Grachev
,
Tracy Haack
,
Thomas R. Hanley
,
Christopher M. Hocut
,
Teddy R. Holt
,
Kate Horgan
,
Haflidi H. Jonsson
,
Robert A. Hale
,
John A. Kalogiros
,
Djamal Khelif
,
Laura S. Leo
,
Richard J. Lind
,
Iossif Lozovatsky
,
Jesus Planella-Morato
,
Swagato Mukherjee
,
Wendell A. Nuss
,
Jonathan Pozderac
,
L. Ted Rogers
,
Ivan Savelyev
,
Dana K. Savidge
,
R. Kipp Shearman
,
Lian Shen
,
Eric Terrill
,
A. Marcela Ulate
,
Qi Wang
,
R. Travis Wendt
,
Russell Wiss
,
Roy K. Woods
,
Luyao Xu
,
Ryan T. Yamaguchi
, and
Caglar Yardim

Abstract

The Coupled Air–Sea Processes and Electromagnetic Ducting Research (CASPER) project aims to better quantify atmospheric effects on the propagation of radar and communication signals in the marine environment. Such effects are associated with vertical gradients of temperature and water vapor in the marine atmospheric surface layer (MASL) and in the capping inversion of the marine atmospheric boundary layer (MABL), as well as the horizontal variations of these vertical gradients. CASPER field measurements emphasized simultaneous characterization of electromagnetic (EM) wave propagation, the propagation environment, and the physical processes that gave rise to the measured refractivity conditions. CASPER modeling efforts utilized state-of-the-art large-eddy simulations (LESs) with a dynamically coupled MASL and phase-resolved ocean surface waves. CASPER-East was the first of two planned field campaigns, conducted in October and November 2015 offshore of Duck, North Carolina. This article highlights the scientific motivations and objectives of CASPER and provides an overview of the CASPER-East field campaign. The CASPER-East sampling strategy enabled us to obtain EM wave propagation loss as well as concurrent environmental refractive conditions along the propagation path. This article highlights the initial results from this sampling strategy showing the range-dependent propagation loss, the atmospheric and upper-oceanic variability along the propagation range, and the MASL thermodynamic profiles measured during CASPER-East.

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Hemantha W. Wijesekera
,
Emily Shroyer
,
Amit Tandon
,
M. Ravichandran
,
Debasis Sengupta
,
S. U. P. Jinadasa
,
Harindra J. S. Fernando
,
Neeraj Agrawal
,
K. Arulananthan
,
G. S. Bhat
,
Mark Baumgartner
,
Jared Buckley
,
Luca Centurioni
,
Patrick Conry
,
J. Thomas Farrar
,
Arnold L. Gordon
,
Verena Hormann
,
Ewa Jarosz
,
Tommy G. Jensen
,
Shaun Johnston
,
Matthias Lankhorst
,
Craig M. Lee
,
Laura S. Leo
,
Iossif Lozovatsky
,
Andrew J. Lucas
,
Jennifer Mackinnon
,
Amala Mahadevan
,
Jonathan Nash
,
Melissa M. Omand
,
Hieu Pham
,
Robert Pinkel
,
Luc Rainville
,
Sanjiv Ramachandran
,
Daniel L. Rudnick
,
Sutanu Sarkar
,
Uwe Send
,
Rashmi Sharma
,
Harper Simmons
,
Kathleen M. Stafford
,
Louis St. Laurent
,
Karan Venayagamoorthy
,
Ramasamy Venkatesan
,
William J. Teague
,
David W. Wang
,
Amy F. Waterhouse
,
Robert Weller
, and
Caitlin B. Whalen

Abstract

Air–Sea Interactions in the Northern Indian Ocean (ASIRI) is an international research effort (2013–17) aimed at understanding and quantifying coupled atmosphere–ocean dynamics of the Bay of Bengal (BoB) with relevance to Indian Ocean monsoons. Working collaboratively, more than 20 research institutions are acquiring field observations coupled with operational and high-resolution models to address scientific issues that have stymied the monsoon predictability. ASIRI combines new and mature observational technologies to resolve submesoscale to regional-scale currents and hydrophysical fields. These data reveal BoB’s sharp frontal features, submesoscale variability, low-salinity lenses and filaments, and shallow mixed layers, with relatively weak turbulent mixing. Observed physical features include energetic high-frequency internal waves in the southern BoB, energetic mesoscale and submesoscale features including an intrathermocline eddy in the central BoB, and a high-resolution view of the exchange along the periphery of Sri Lanka, which includes the 100-km-wide East India Coastal Current (EICC) carrying low-salinity water out of the BoB and an adjacent, broad northward flow (∼300 km wide) that carries high-salinity water into BoB during the northeast monsoon. Atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) observations during the decaying phase of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) permit the study of multiscale atmospheric processes associated with non-MJO phenomena and their impacts on the marine boundary layer. Underway analyses that integrate observations and numerical simulations shed light on how air–sea interactions control the ABL and upper-ocean processes.

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